William Noel Hodgson was born on 3 January 1893 and was killed in action on 1 July 1916. Noel was a Oxford student (classics) and a First World War volunteer in 1914.Noel was killed in the battle of the Somme.
In the poem Noel foresees his death (he was actually killed 2 days after writing the poem). He makes a wish that he will be able to see death in the face like a soldier and like a man.This wish is as strong as all the beauty and wonderfull things in life. The poem reflects the tension between the joy and will to live, and the certainty of death and the will to die like a man.
|I want to read the poem and listen to the song|